Getting to Hawaii was much more difficult than we had expected. We were supposed to arrive by 1 PM but instead didn't arrive until 12 midnight. Heavy fog, in San Diego, delayed flights which resulted in five flight changes. We arrived at the airport at 5 AM but didn't fly out until 3 PM. Wow what a day! There was no transportation to Princeville but an older couple offered to drive us there. Nice!
Kauai is called " the garden island" and it's easy to see why. All around you is lush and green, and flowering buses are everywhere, from bougainvillea as tall as a tree in a variety of colors (sometimes on the same bush) to plumeria trees that may have zero leaves but be covered with fragrant blossoms. Even the grass was unique, like on a putting green. Oddest of all were the colorful roosters EVERYWHERE! Rumor was that crates of chickens were released by a hurricane. They crow from morning until night, but they're certainly pretty.
We found our Sandpiper condo easily and settled in to the small but adequate space. It was perfectly located for us--a .9 mile from the bus stop and the Princeville Center. Best of all, we had beach chairs and could easily walk to two nearby beaches. Our outings by bus included a round trip ending in Hanalei where we went out for dinner; a ride then walk to Kilauea to see the lighthouse which ended up being closed; two trips to Kapaa, one for exploring the town and the second for biking the Coconut coast bike trail.
After 11 days, Chad & Jodi & the boys arrived (with a mini-van!) and we moved to Hanalei Bay Resort. What a place! Gorgeous pool and hot tub, numerous amenities, and a two-bedroom condo with an unbelievable view. We loved the Resort and the car gave us opportunities to explore additional areas in Kauai. Memorable outings were hiking along the Na Pali coast; kayaking to a waterfall and swimming below it; driving to see the Waimea Canyon which was foggy but at times cleared some; celebrating Levi's birthday at Duke's in Lihue-we thought he was getting a cupcake with a candle, but it turned out to be a huge ice cream pie called the wave pie. We had fun passing it around the table and taking a bite as it passed four times. We several days of snorkeling and boogie boarding while the boys and Chad served as well. There were also many lazy hours by the pool, enjoying mai tai's or sitting in the very hot spa.
Kauai was a great start to our Hawaii adventure!